Rachel Lancaster

lancaster The best new music tips tend to come, not from sites like this one, but from bands. Not that I wish to discourage you from reading this, erm, constantly inspiring and finely crafted site, but if you really want to find the best new bands I recommend following your current favourites on Twitter or Facebook.

Bands play with obscure support groups, find themselves on odd bills, chatter to other people in bands about other bands, and know a million people with weird side projects, so if anything good is happening in the world of music, you can be confident someone in a band told someone else in a band about it first. And if you’re lucky they will mention it to you, on the internet.

I was talking to Bart from eagleowl about the Pale Imitation Festival we’re putting on in August, and he suggested inviting Rachel Lancaster to be on the bill for the closing party, which eagleowl are headlining. She played with them in Newcastle when they were on their album launch tour and apparently she was fantastic. I am not surprised – listening to her handful of tunes on Soundcloud, I am really excited to see her play.

She has a blog site as well, but there’s not really that much of her stuff out there on the internet, and I get the impression she is kind of her own side project, devoting more time to playing in the bands she’s in: Silver Fox, Chippewa Falls and Gravenhurst. I don’t know as much about those three bands as I might, but I have to say I think she should devote more time to her own material, because it’s bloody ace.

I can see how it would appeal to eagleowl – excruciatingly slow, Lancaster builds her songs from layers and loops of single notes allowed to reverberate and rumble into silence. The guitar sound is absolutely fucking gorgeous; a sort of growly tidal wave, which is part thunderstorm and partly the constant, distant rumble of industrial machinery.

She can sing too, although she rarely chooses to, but when she does it too is slathered in effects so that you can’t really hear any lyrics. It does cut through the oppressive atmosphere created by the guitars though, which is  a good thing, as this kind of music could easily become somewhat hard going without it. It’s not going to be for everyone, I suppose. Her stuff kind of stares you down, and if you find that kind of thing a bit intense then you may not really end up liking this, but I think it’s ace and I am really looking forward to seeing her play in August.

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